Longer headlines for select ads on Google

by Mick Higgins February 4th, 2011 

Google announced  yesterday that select ads will feature a new format. Under the new format descriptive line 1 will be moved to the headline and separated by a hyphen.


What This Means for Marketers

The main impact is that it changes the way we write ad copy.

Marketers have to further increase their attention to ad copy punctuation and grammar. The descriptive line must make sense when used in conjunction with the title.

If the format becomes the norm it opens the door for marketers to craft 60 character descriptive titles using tile and description line one for a more user involved result. As we can see in the Google example below, descriptive line 2 is used as a call to action.


Alternatively marketers may wish to make the title or line 2 the emphasis of the call to action and include they keyword with the most traffic.

Testing of line 1 vs line 2 will show where searchers' eyeballs hone in. Will users interact more with ads emphasizing call to action and inclusion of search query term in the lengthened title or in 2nd descriptive line?


Ad position may become less important because when users become more accustomed to the new ad format, they may simply look which ad best answers their query.

Mick Higgins

A marketing graduate with itchy feet, I moved to Canada from my native Ireland in late 2009. My passions are marketing, media, advertising and sports.

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4 Responses to “Longer headlines for select ads on Google”

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  2. Ryan Miller says:

    Well this is an interesting development. The screengrabs are great, and show exactly what we can come to expect of this change.

  3. Thumbs up for the screenshot. I read this news elsewhere and was disappointed about a lack of a screenshot there.

    Advertisers really need to double-check their ad copy for compatibility with this mode.

    Some people complain that with this change, those select ads are even harder to distinguish from the natural results. This may be good for the advertisers short-term, but may also hurt the reputation of Google. A clear distinction has been one of their major benefits.

  4. Kirsty says:

    Yeah they are right that it is more understandable when a post have a picture of what you really mean. This screen shot is very helpful for us to fully understand your message. I hope you will continue doing it